Owner–Resident Ideological Divergence and Firm Performance: Evidence From Major League Baseball

in Journal of Sport Management
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  • 1 Tisch Institute for Global Sport, New York University, New York, NY, USA
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Stakeholder frameworks document the nature of sport franchise owners’ interactions with local residents, but there has been little attention on understanding why interactions develop a contentious or collaborative tenor. There has also been little emphasis on understanding whether and how interactions affect revenue-side outcomes. This paper uses the team identification literature to buttress the idea that owners are meaningful points of attachment for fans. It also uses consumer political ideology scholarship to explain that owners’ ideologies—never more visible than today—are important predictors of consumption. The paper proposes and tests a series of hypotheses about the effect of owners’ and residents’ ideological divergence on attendance and spending. Similar ideologies between residents and long-tenured owners were associated with about $8–$10 more spending per fan per game, as well as 2,400–3,950 more fans per game. Implications for academics and practitioners are provided.

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